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Re: [SCA-Archery] Re: Grand Fellowship(draft 2) - Long reply

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  • D Humberson
    Greetings to the list, Since Sir Jon specifically asked for comments about the usefulness of this idea, I wish to address the general question of whether such
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 31, 2001
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      Greetings to the list,

      Since Sir Jon specifically asked for comments about the usefulness of this
      idea, I wish to address the general question of whether such a Fellowship
      should be created, rather than to address only issues of specific wording.

      The idea of a Society-wide Grand Fellowship, with accompanying insignia or
      regalia, struck an odd note with me from day one. A conversation Tuesday
      night, on an archery line, crystallized that unease and has led to this
      post.

      SCA archery has not, until now, been about anything but the activities of
      archers and those who support them. This Grand Fellowship seems more about
      calling attention to archers in circumstances where their sport is not
      immediately obvious, up to and including providing recognitions not
      sanctioned by the various Laurel Kingdoms.

      Please note the phrase '...archers and those who support them', as this
      specifically includes everyone from the fletchers and bowyers who make our
      equipment to the range designers and marshals who make our sport varied,
      enjoyable and safe. They and the archers they serve know one another, by
      both local repute and the fruits of their various labors. Good bowyers and
      good fletchers are known as such, becoming better known as they make more
      and higher quality products. Range designers here in Aethelmearc produce
      incredible field and woods shoots, challenging to the best shots yet often
      fun for tyros. Our marshalate gives time, energy and attention to the
      minutiae of running both practices and archery at events. Tying all these
      arts and services together are the archers, from champions to newcomers, who
      are the focus of the exercise: they more often than not also contribute in
      one or more supporting roles as well.

      As a friend said to me tonight "If you see me in vambrace and glove, wearing
      a quiver, bow in hand, headed for a line, you know I'm an archer". To which
      I'd add, "And if I'm not tacked up and headed to( or from) a range, what
      difference does the fact I'm an archer make?"

      Much discussion has centered on regalia which would identify archers of a
      given skill to one another. With all respect, I must again ask why? If I
      go to a strange place, get my gear inspected, and step up to a shooting
      line, we'll all know rather quickly what kind of day I'm having. In how I
      deal with whatever happens on the line I'll also show some of my character
      as an archer, and my level of awareness and responsibility. IMHO, archery
      is quintessentially a participant's activity, finding its highest expression
      in the moment when all that exists is the arrow, the target, and the
      invisible curve that joins them. The nature of such activity is transient
      and variable, sliding from focused peak to distracted trough or rising from
      a slump to find new heights of achievement.

      I have come to believe that one of the strongest forces binding our
      community is that participation, and the associated sense of possibility.
      From the rawest newcomer to the archer dinosaur who has held every archer's
      post in the SCA we are all already part of a fellowship both rich and
      varied, whose sole criteria is essentially "...Want to shoot today?". In
      our actions we declare ourselves archers, and by our actions we define what
      kind of archers we are today. Our actions speak for us, identifying us to
      one another irrespective of regalia.

      This proposal has the two stated intents of providing ready identification
      for members and promoting greater fellowship among members. In both cases,
      the danger lies within the concept of membership. By its existence, any
      such group will divide the archery community into an 'in' group and an 'out'
      group, and then operate primarily to benefit the 'in' group. Without
      question such divisions already exist in most archery communities, but I
      suggest that their demarcations are far more fluid and in that fluidity far
      less damaging to real fellowship among archers. To whatever extent a formal
      Grand Fellowship ossifies those lines of demarcation, it poses an
      additional threat to the real fellowship enjoyed among archers today. What
      benefits accrue to the archery community if the cost of this threat is
      accepted?

      An archer identifies himself on the line by his actions and by his skill.
      Away from the line, how much additional benefit will be gained from some
      uniform bit of identifying regalia? The kingdom award necessary to qualify
      for the Grand Fellowship already speaks to those of his home kingdom, so the
      identifying benefit of this regalia is actually limited to citizens of other
      kingdoms who need to see this archer as someone skilled in some aspect of
      archery. How much benefit is this to most archers, most of the time?

      This proposal states, in an early paragraph, "...But there is no Society
      wide order or group recognizing outstanding skill in archery as the Order
      of Chivalry does tourney combat, the Order of the Laurel excellence in Arts
      and Sciences, or the Order of the Pelican rewards service".

      While not mentioned explicitly under the numbered intents, a clear and
      repeated theme here is the mention of the Grand Fellowship in the context of
      the Chivalry, Laurel and Pelican. Indeed, the only SCA-wide goal the
      proposal mentions is, "Perhaps, one of those goals might be to work toward
      peerage level recognition for archery and other related skills.".

      While the desirability of an archery peerage is beyond the scope of this
      response, the effects of this focus within the current proposal are decidely
      within that scope. The BOD has considered and rejected, for now, the idea
      of a fourth peerage. This proposal carries a substantial focus on peerage
      orders, and explicitly sets out to create an SCA-wide vehicle for
      recognition equivalent to them. As such, this proposal may be legitimately
      viewed as an attempt to begin to create a shadow peerage ala the White
      Scarf. Again, what impacts would such a movement have on local archers, and
      what benefits would accrue to them? If such a Fellowship produced pressure
      to conform, as it surely would, to a single standard for equipment, shooting
      styles and courses of fire, a rich source of innovation would be impeded if
      not stifled. If the Fellowship is seen as another quasi-peerage, what
      impacts would that perception have on potential archery Laurel and archery
      Pelican candidates?


      Lastly, I take issue with the proposal's implication that 'local interest'
      is somehow inferior to or subordinate to SCA-wide interest. All archery is
      local, in the last analysis, and it is the local archery group whose
      interests are least served by this proposal. Pennsic archery is as close as
      we get to an SCA-wide shoot, but it is still archers straddling a shooting
      line on one hill in western Pennsylvania. Again, archery is fundamentally a
      grassroots activity, and any proposal which ignores or minimizes that fact
      is unlikely to benefit the sport. On balance, I suggest that the current
      proposal offers insufficient benefit for the potential costs.

      YIS,
      Ragnar Ketilsson









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    • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
      Greetings unto Ragnar Ketilson, In all the time I have been part of this list, I have read a great many contrary posts, but never one as well composed and
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 31, 2001
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        Greetings unto Ragnar Ketilson,
        In all the time I have been part of this list, I have read a great
        many contrary posts, but never one as well composed and thought out as
        yours. You made a lot of good solid points and I agree that archery is
        about the doing of it. I will not try to refute anything you said,
        because you were honest and what you were saying was coming from a good
        place.
        Please forgive me if I don't agree with you
        on this proposal being a bad thing. Maybe archers wouldn't feel so
        slighted if a Crown Tourney could be decided by shooting skill once
        every few times.
        In any case, some archers like pretty
        colored or sparkly dangly things to hang off of their garb. If it causes
        two strangers at Pennsic to notice it on each other, meet and get into a
        discussion about archery because they feel that have an additional
        comraderee,what harm is there in that?
        If this Grand Fellowship should become political or divisive,.....well
        then, that would be bad.
        Respectfully,
        -Geoffrei


        http://community.webtv.net/jrosswebb1/EASTWINDStribal
      • dhumbers@hotmail.com
        Geoffrei, My thanks for your kind words, and no forgiveness of any kind is necessary. I have always believed that honorable men of good will may still
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2001
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          Geoffrei,

          My thanks for your kind words, and no forgiveness of any kind is
          necessary. I have always believed that honorable men of good will
          may still disagree strongly, yet remain in fellowship with one
          another.

          YIS,
          Ragnar Ketilsson


          --- In SCA-Archery@y..., jrosswebb1@w... wrote:
          > Greetings unto Ragnar Ketilson,
          > In all the time I have been part of this list, I have read a
          great
          > many contrary posts, but never one as well composed and thought out
          as
          > yours. You made a lot of good solid points and I agree that archery
          is
          > about the doing of it. I will not try to refute anything you said,
          > because you were honest and what you were saying was coming from a
          good
          > place.
          > Please forgive me if I don't agree with you
          > on this proposal being a bad thing. Maybe archers wouldn't feel so
          > slighted if a Crown Tourney could be decided by shooting skill once
          > every few times.
          > In any case, some archers like pretty
          > colored or sparkly dangly things to hang off of their garb. If it
          causes
          > two strangers at Pennsic to notice it on each other, meet and get
          into a
          > discussion about archery because they feel that have an additional
          > comraderee,what harm is there in that?
          > If this Grand Fellowship should become political or
          divisive,.....well
          > then, that would be bad.
          > Respectfully,
          > -Geoffrei
          >
          >
          > http://community.webtv.net/jrosswebb1/EASTWINDStribal
        • John Edgerton
          Greetings Your post was very well written and you seem to feel quite strongly about this. However, it seems that you have read an intent into it that is not
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1, 2001
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            Greetings

            Your post was very well written and you seem to feel quite strongly
            about this. However, it seems that you have read an intent into it that
            is not there. Perhaps I did not make myself as clear as should have in
            the draft. I will try to do so.

            D Humberson wrote:

            > Greetings to the list,
            >
            > Since Sir Jon specifically asked for comments about the usefulness of
            > this
            > idea, I wish to address the general question of whether such a
            > Fellowship
            > should be created, rather than to address only issues of specific
            > wording.
            >
            > The idea of a Society-wide Grand Fellowship, with accompanying
            > insignia or
            > regalia, struck an odd note with me from day one. A conversation
            > Tuesday
            > night, on an archery line, crystallized that unease and has led to
            > this
            > post.
            >
            > SCA archery has not, until now, been about anything but the activities
            > of
            > archers and those who support them. This Grand Fellowship seems more
            > about
            > calling attention to archers in circumstances where their sport is not
            >
            > immediately obvious, up to and including providing recognitions not
            > sanctioned by the various Laurel Kingdoms.
            >

            I am sorry but I do not follow what you are referring to as "recognitons
            not sanctioned by the various laurel Kingdoms." The Fellowship only
            gives a badge which may or may not be worn by those that qualify for it.
            I believe that badges, if they are passed by the heralds, are
            sanctioned by the heralds in all the kingdoms.

            >
            > Please note the phrase '...archers and those who support them', as
            > this
            > specifically includes everyone from the fletchers and bowyers who make
            > our
            > equipment to the range designers and marshals who make our sport
            > varied,
            > enjoyable and safe. They and the archers they serve know one another,
            > by
            > both local repute and the fruits of their various labors. Good
            > bowyers and
            > good fletchers are known as such, becoming better known as they make
            > more
            > and higher quality products. Range designers here in Aethelmearc
            > produce
            > incredible field and woods shoots, challenging to the best shots yet
            > often
            > fun for tyros. Our marshalate gives time, energy and attention to the
            >
            > minutiae of running both practices and archery at events. Tying all
            > these
            > arts and services together are the archers, from champions to
            > newcomers, who
            > are the focus of the exercise: they more often than not also
            > contribute in
            > one or more supporting roles as well.
            >
            > As a friend said to me tonight "If you see me in vambrace and glove,
            > wearing
            > a quiver, bow in hand, headed for a line, you know I'm an archer". To
            > which
            > I'd add, "And if I'm not tacked up and headed to( or from) a range,
            > what
            > difference does the fact I'm an archer make?"
            >
            > Much discussion has centered on regalia which would identify archers
            > of a
            > given skill to one another. With all respect, I must again ask why?
            > If I
            > go to a strange place, get my gear inspected, and step up to a
            > shooting
            > line, we'll all know rather quickly what kind of day I'm having. In
            > how I
            > deal with whatever happens on the line I'll also show some of my
            > character
            > as an archer, and my level of awareness and responsibility. IMHO,
            > archery
            > is quintessentially a participant's activity, finding its highest
            > expression
            > in the moment when all that exists is the arrow, the target, and the
            > invisible curve that joins them. The nature of such activity is
            > transient
            > and variable, sliding from focused peak to distracted trough or rising
            > from
            > a slump to find new heights of achievement.
            >
            > I have come to believe that one of the strongest forces binding our
            > community is that participation, and the associated sense of
            > possibility.
            > >From the rawest newcomer to the archer dinosaur who has held every
            > archer's
            > post in the SCA we are all already part of a fellowship both rich and
            > varied, whose sole criteria is essentially "...Want to shoot today?".
            > In
            > our actions we declare ourselves archers, and by our actions we define
            > what
            > kind of archers we are today. Our actions speak for us, identifying
            > us to
            > one another irrespective of regalia.
            >

            Not all events have archery taking place. Even when they do, an archer
            is not always carrying their bow and arrows to identify them as an
            archer.

            >
            > This proposal has the two stated intents of providing ready
            > identification
            > for members and promoting greater fellowship among members. In both
            > cases,
            > the danger lies within the concept of membership. By its existence,
            > any
            > such group will divide the archery community into an 'in' group and an
            > 'out'
            > group, and then operate primarily to benefit the 'in' group.

            No more so than the kingdom orders already do in the kingdoms. I do not
            see how a Fellowship with no central organization could operate to
            benefit a "in" group.

            > Without
            > question such divisions already exist in most archery communities, but
            > I
            > suggest that their demarcations are far more fluid and in that
            > fluidity far
            > less damaging to real fellowship among archers.

            The membership of the Fellowship would also be constantly increasing
            with new members as new archers are given awards in their kingdoms. It
            would be as fluid as the archery orders in the kingdoms.

            > To whatever extent a formal
            > Grand Fellowship ossifies those lines of demarcation, it poses an
            > additional threat to the real fellowship enjoyed among archers today.

            You have not shown that the Fellowship would ossify those supposed
            lines.

            > What
            > benefits accrue to the archery community if the cost of this threat is
            >
            > accepted?

            Nor have you shown that the Fellowship poses any threat.

            >
            > An archer identifies himself on the line by his actions and by his
            > skill.
            > Away from the line, how much additional benefit will be gained from
            > some
            > uniform bit of identifying regalia? The kingdom award necessary to
            > qualify
            > for the Grand Fellowship already speaks to those of his home kingdom,
            > so the
            > identifying benefit of this regalia is actually limited to citizens of
            > other
            > kingdoms who need to see this archer as someone skilled in some aspect
            > of
            > archery. How much benefit is this to most archers, most of the time?

            The benefit is when they are not in their own kingdom. The benefit is
            when they are elsewhere and could have additional opportunities to talk
            archery with archers and others not of their own kingdom. I think that
            many archers are happy to stop and talk shop and meet new people
            anywhere, not just on the archery range. I know I am.

            >
            > This proposal states, in an early paragraph, "...But there is no
            > Society
            > wide order or group recognizing outstanding skill in archery as the
            > Order
            > of Chivalry does tourney combat, the Order of the Laurel excellence in
            > Arts
            > and Sciences, or the Order of the Pelican rewards service".
            >
            > While not mentioned explicitly under the numbered intents, a clear and
            >
            > repeated theme here is the mention of the Grand Fellowship in the
            > context of
            > the Chivalry, Laurel and Pelican.

            Because members of those groups can be identified as such even when not
            in their own kingdoms.

            > Indeed, the only SCA-wide goal the
            > proposal mentions is, "Perhaps, one of those goals might be to work
            > toward
            > peerage level recognition for archery and other related skills.".

            This was only mentioned as a possible example of how the Fellowship
            might act together, because that had been a topic of interest recently.
            There is no way of predicting what goals, if any, members of the
            Fellowship might have in the future.

            >
            > While the desirability of an archery peerage is beyond the scope of
            > this
            > response, the effects of this focus within the current proposal are
            > decidely
            > within that scope. The BOD has considered and rejected, for now, the
            > idea
            > of a fourth peerage.

            True, but efforts could be made to encourage the Laurels to consider
            allowing archers in the O.L. for their skill in archery rather than just
            their craft or research skills.

            > This proposal carries a substantial focus on peerage
            > orders, and explicitly sets out to create an SCA-wide vehicle for
            > recognition equivalent to them. As such, this proposal may be
            > legitimately
            > viewed as an attempt to begin to create a shadow peerage ala the White
            >
            > Scarf.

            If I had intended to make this a proposal for creating a peerage order
            for archery, it would clearly say so in no uncertain terms and would not
            be some attempt at a "shadow peerage ala the White Scarf." I have
            proposed an archery peerage before and that is not what this is.

            > Again, what impacts would such a movement have on local archers, and
            > what benefits would accrue to them? If such a Fellowship produced
            > pressure
            > to conform, as it surely would, to a single standard for equipment,
            > shooting
            > styles and courses of fire, a rich source of innovation would be
            > impeded if
            > not stifled.

            Why would the Fellowship produce any pressure to conform as you say it
            would? Why would its members want a single standard for equipment,
            shooting styles or courses of fire? I do not believe that the members
            would have a single standard of equipment or style, but would use
            everything from modern recurves to period bows and crossbows as well as
            having a great variety of shooting styles and opinions on shooting and
            archery..

            > If the Fellowship is seen as another quasi-peerage, what
            > impacts would that perception have on potential archery Laurel and
            > archery Pelican candidates?
            >
            > There is no real reason to see it as a quasi-peerage or any other
            > attempt at a peerage.

            I know what I intended when I wrote this and there was no intention of
            some form of attempt at some kind of peerage. The intent was as stated.
            To provide a means of visual identification and to help encourage
            greater fellowship between archers. Since you were able to misconstrue
            the proposal, then it would seem that I need to make parts of it more
            clear.

            Thank you for your comments they have pointed out where I need to make
            it more clear so that others will not misinterpret its intent. .

            Jon

            >
            > Lastly, I take issue with the proposal's implication that 'local
            > interest'
            > is somehow inferior to or subordinate to SCA-wide interest. All
            > archery is
            > local, in the last analysis, and it is the local archery group whose
            > interests are least served by this proposal. Pennsic archery is as
            > close as
            > we get to an SCA-wide shoot, but it is still archers straddling a
            > shooting
            > line on one hill in western Pennsylvania. Again, archery is
            > fundamentally a
            > grassroots activity, and any proposal which ignores or minimizes that
            > fact
            > is unlikely to benefit the sport. On balance, I suggest that the
            > current
            > proposal offers insufficient benefit for the potential costs.
            >
            > YIS,
            > Ragnar Ketilsson
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
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            >
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          • jrosswebb1@webtv.net
            To Ragnar, Nicely said M Lord. Fondly, -Geoffrei From: dhumbers@hotmail.com Geoffrei, My thanks for your kind words, and no forgiveness of any kind is
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 1, 2001
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              To Ragnar,
              Nicely said M'Lord.
              Fondly,
              -Geoffrei

              From: dhumbers@...
              Geoffrei,
              My thanks for your kind words, and no forgiveness of any kind is
              necessary. I have always believed that honorable men of good will may
              still disagree strongly, yet remain in fellowship with one another.
              YIS,
              Ragnar Ketilsson


              http://community.webtv.net/jrosswebb1/EASTWINDStribal
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